Archive for November, 2012

Adaptability & Flexibilty are Top Workplace Skills

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The international staffing agency Randstad issued a report in August detailing the results of their ongoing surveys that are part of the Randstad Engagement Index.

In this report, respondents show increased optimism and security in their jobs. Among the many data points I’m intrigued by the skills needed for continued success.  Respondents rated “flexibility” and “adaptability” as top skills needed to succeed in the workplace, followed by “knowledge of technology” and “teamwork” respectively.

How have you demonstrated “adaptability” in the past few weeks?  Consider your responses to proposed changes in your work.  Has there been a situation where you stepped up to help someone else in addition to your own work? Have you relinquished control over something? Perhaps you shared your knowledge or a cultivated resource to further a project. Being adaptable is not just about being compliant; it includes the  sincere desire to make or do things better. Often it means being in a very uncomfortable stage – consider adaptations in nature when plants and animals must adapt to changes in their environment or to keep from becoming a delectable food source.

If you are in job search mode, how have you adapted this new environment? Consider the work habits you’ve transferred to your job search. You have likely stretched outside your comfort zone to make new contacts and to learn new skills – social networking, preparing for interviews, writing and delivering accomplishments, job search strategies, etc.

What does “flexibility” look like?  Often its just the willingness to re-schedule time commitments. It is also the willing to consider and try a different solution that isn’t comfortable to you.  Could it be reserving “right” or ‘wrong” judgements to consider another viewpoint? Thank about the creative approaches you have taken…or could take.

I’d like to hear your examples of these.

Thankful For Work?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Work conversations often fall into two categories – people complain about their job or complain that they don’t have a job. I suppose we get more sympathy when we complain. I wonder why we don’t talk more about the things that go well for us. Not boasting, just being thankful.

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, my colleague, Annabelle Reitman offers some wisdom in her column on The Transition Network newsletter, Work: What Are You Thankful For?

She describes how we can go beyond just being thankful to have a job, to looking at the specific things about our work that we appreciate. Yes, the money is important. Most of us realize the relationships we’ve built are also important to us. What resources do you have that make your job easier? What is it about your work that energizes you?  How do these things, and others impact your overall life? Do they enable you to do other things?

If you are looking for work, you already have an inventory of the things you want from your next job.  Have you inventoried what this transition period currently offers that is helping you get through it? (A pop song lyric just popped into my head, “What doesn’t make you stronger…”). Recognize your ability to be creative and to persist in your search. What new talents and relationships have you developed through both your job search and any volunteer activities? Even a jobless period gives us things to be grateful for that we often miss when working full-time.

I don’t need a holiday to remind me what I’m thankful for.  Do you?